Monday, May 27

Comment system has been installed. I hope it works.

I still welcome your emails, particularly if they contain questions, but if you have a general opinion on a post or link that you want the world to see, please use the comment function.

A reader disagrees with a reader:

I read Michael O'Brien's essay and did not find it 'smarmy' or 'self-congratulatory'. Although I've read three of O'Brien's novels, I'm not a particular fan of his. ..Nonetheless, I found his essay to be a moving and honest account of a real encounter with evil.

Over the next couple of days I think I will follow the Cranky Professor's lead and install a comment system. I love you peoples' email, but it's beginning to wear me out. Maybe a comment system would be more efficient for all of us, although if y'all get out of hand, I'll pull the plug, I promise. Be nice.

Hmm... A reader, who is also a writer, takes strong issue:

I'm surprised that you were impressed by Michael O'Brien's smarmy
self-congratulatory essay. "Look at me! I'm so special! I had heaven's protection to stay safe unlike those OTHER boys who didn't pray or attend
daily Mass." Overlooks lethal clericalism in his analysis.



Ouch.

I didn't see the essay as self-congratulatory. I saw it as the result of decades of struggling with the question of why he didn't get drawn into the trap, and his conclusions have nothing to do with him, and everything to do with others - his family and the one other student who seemed to hold out some understanding.

You really must read this fine, fine essay by novelist Michael O'Brien on Victims, Scandals, Truth, Compassion? An author reflects on his own childhood encounter with abuse. It's part of a special issue of Catholic World Report devoted to The Situation. It's far more interesting than U.S. Catholic's special issue on the same topic.
Can a church go broke? Time looks at how the Church is rushing to protect its assets:

Practically every Catholic institution in the U.S. is searching for ways to protect itself financially. The Boston archdiocese, for instance, is considering a complete reorganization of its corporate structure to protect against future liability. One possibility would be for it to hold all its real estate in trust for its parishes, which would make it even more difficult for new claimants to squeeze much money out of the archdiocese for priests' misdeeds

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